I am writing in response to the recent letter to the editor criticizing Village President David Pope on several counts regarding the living wage issue. [Is the village president stacking the deck against a living wage, Viewpoints, June 9] This letter contains several errors of fact that need to be corrected.

The letter complains that both the “majority” and “minority” reports of the Oak Park Community Relations Commission will be presented to the board on July 6. On Jan. 26, 2009, the commission was asked to evaluate the pros and cons of this proposal; thus, it is fitting to have a presentation including both perspectives.

The letter objects to having the commission chair make the presentation. When a commission presents a report to the board of trustees, the chair of the commission is usually the presenter, unless he is not available. In some cases, an additional member will also make a presentation of another perspective.

Under local statute, it is the sole responsibility of the village president to appoint commission chairs, and of the board of trustees to approve them. While the village president may (and does) consult with others in making his decisions, he is not required to do so. The letter states that David Pope did not “consult” with the members of the commission on his appointment of the new chairman. I know that President Pope received a great deal of advice about this appointment before it was made from members of the commission and others, so this statement is factually incorrect.

The members of the commission, past and present, who participated in this project deserve to be commended for their efforts. Oak Park is fortunate to have talented and dedicated volunteers who share their time and talents to make Oak Park a better community.

Teresa Powell
Clerk, Village of Oak Park

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